Attitudes to safety flooring require a radical rethink

Published: 13-Nov-2019

Tarkett UK’s Safetred Design collections offer limitless options with superior safety performance

Healthcare building specifiers should reconsider approaches to safety flooring when designing for interiors, says global flooring company, Tarkett.

The traditional look and feel of safety flooring often requires specifiers to compromise on desired aesthetics.

But, thanks to next-generation transparent particles; Tarkett’s Safetred Design collections create limitless options for interiors while ensuring the same safety performance.

Developed with architects, designers and end users in mind, the Safetred Design collections offer a wide range of surface visuals and colours, including wood grain, a welcoming textile line and the realism of natural stone, making it possible to create an ‘at home’ environment everywhere.

Traditional safety flooring has a ‘speckled’ appearance. These black specks are very hard particles called silicon carbide, which ensure that slip resistance does not diminish over time. However, from a visual point of view, this is often a source of frustration for architects and designers, as it means placing limits on creativity.

To address this, Tarkett’s Safetred Design ranges use a transparent particle called aluminium oxide, which has the same resistance properties, but is invisible.

This product innovation enables Tarkett to offer a wide selection of designs without neglecting safety: and the result is a proven, sustainably-slip-resistant floor which meets the requirements of the manufacturing standard, EN 13845.

Designed for healthcare

Appropriate for all areas where slip resistance is key, such as corridors, wards, treatment rooms and toilets; the Safetred Design collections help reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls while also achieving calming, non-institutional interiors that optimise physical comfort and aid quick recovery.

The Safetred Acoustic range can also help to reduce noise by 17dB –important in hospital environments as noise is proven to increase pain perception.

Closing the loop

Traditionally, safety floors have been problematic in terms of recycling due to the nature of the aluminium oxide or carborundum inherent in them. However, the ReStartÒ programme is able to extract these particles for down-cycling so more of the product can be utilised.

Safetred is produced using up to 40% of recycled content, and can be recycled via the Tarkett ReStartÒ programme.

Elizabeth Butcher, Tarkett segment marketing manager for healthcare, said: “With slips, trips and falls costing the health service in excess of £133m a year, according to the Health and Safety Executive, the importance of correctly specifying safety flooring in healthcare environments cannot be overstated.

“The next-generation technology in Tarkett’s Safetred Design ranges has minimised the design restrictions usually encountered from typical safety flooring, while providing the same technical benefits.

“We would encourage specifiers to rethink safety flooring and explore the possibilities that these ranges offer.”

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